So, my idea for today's posting was to show support for the Patriots by preparing something that represents their team (for those of you who missed it, I made something in honor of the Giants a few days ago.) I decided that I would make sugar cookies shaped like footballs and decorate them in two of the three Patriots colors, red and blue. After I had finished decorating the cookies, and while their shiny coats of icing were drying, something prompted me to go to the Giants' homepage to double-check what their team colors are............whoops!
So, my newly revised idea for today is to show you how to make football shaped Super Bowl cookies that will please all of your party guests, both Patriots and Giants fans alike, by decorating them in the colors that both teams share, red and blue. Patriots fans, I'm sorry. My intentions were good.
This cookie recipe is my very favorite, never fail, foolproof, decorator sugar cookie recipe, and believe me, I have tested many. The dough rolls out beautifully, bakes evenly, and tastes delicious. Sometime with sugar cookies, there is so much emphasis on appearance that the flavor is compromised. With this recipe, the inclusion of orange zest and a double dose of vanilla results in almost a creamsicle flavored cookie. If you prefer a cakier cookie, cut them a bit thicker and underbake them slightly. If you like your cookies crisp, cut them nice and thin and bake them until they are golden brown. Decorating the cookies is very easy and the step-by-step directions are below. Here are some tips for fabulous football cookies:
- For shaping the dough into football shapes, if you don't have a football cookie cutter (I don't), there are a few other options. I used and egg-shaped cookie cutter and then I just pinched the ends of the cut-outs to form football shapes. If you don't have an egg, then use a circle shape and do your best to mold the dough. Remember that the shapes will be covered with icing, so don't worry about little imperfections. If you don't have a circle cutter, then use the rim of a glass or a bowl that has been inverted to make the shape.
- For icing the cookies, there are either 3 or 4 stages, depending on how much you want to decorate them. The first stage involves outlining the footballs with the royal icing. For outlining purposes, the icing should not be too runny so that it won't spread when you make a line. If you don't have a decorating bag and tips, then just snip a very small corner off of a ziploc bag and fill it with icing to emulate a decorating bag. Carefully outline the footballs in the color of your choice and let set for 5 minutes to dry.
- The second stage of icing the cookies is called "flooding." To flood the cookies is to fill them with the solid color. The icing should be thinned a bit with lemon juice for this step, as it needs to flow and spread easily inside the border that you formed in step one. Pour a small amount of the thinned icing in the center of the cookie, and then use a toothpick or knife to guide the icing and fill the inside of the border. If not doing stage three, let dry for 10 minutes.
- Stage three is optional. You'll see in the photos that I did stage three for the red cookies, but not for the blue. Immediately after flooding the cookies, distribute the sprinkles of the same color as the icing evenly over the cookie. This just reinforces the color and makes it a bit stronger. Let dry for 10 minutes.
- Stage four is to pipe the football's laces on the cookie. Taking a different color then the base of the cookie, pipe two vertical lines on either side and then a small horizontal line down the center. Pipe three small vertical lines to cross over the horizontal line. See the pictures to help guide you in this step. Allow to dry for 5 minutes.
- The cookie dough can be made up to 2 days ahead of time and refrigerated, tightly wrapped.
Super Bowl Football Cookies
¼ teaspoon salt
2 ½ sticks butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
For Royal Icing
4 egg whites
4-5 cups confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or lemon juice
Food coloring and sprinkles for decorating
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar at medium-high speed until light and creamy, 3-4 minutes. Add the egg, egg yolk, vanilla, and orange zest, and mix until well blended. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture, ⅓ at a time, mixing until just combined. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, divide into 4 pieces, shape each piece into a disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out to a ⅛ inch thickness. Cut the dough into desired shapes and transfer to baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for 9-11 minutes, until the cookies are pale golden brown in color. Transfer to a rack and cool completely.
Make the royal icing: Beat the egg whites in a clean large bowl with a mixer at high speed until foamy. Gradually add 4 cups of the sugar and the vanilla extract or lemon juice and beat at high speed until the mixture has thickened. Add more confectioner's sugar if the mixture is too runny. Separate and color the icing as desired and decorate the cooled cookies.